Documents relating to the conflict between the Catholic hierarchy and the revolutionary government, which unfortunately intensifies day by day.
COMMUNIQUE OF THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCEThe Bishops of Nicaragua believe that our Catholic people and our priests and religious have the right to be informed about the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua regarding some events which happened recently in our country and which directly affect the Church.
1. On January 13, 1982, three sisters of the Congregation of St. Agnes working in Puerto Cabezas, Sisters Kenneth Struckhoff, Dolores Taddy and Rosa Kowalski, and two Capuchin religious working in Waspam, Fathers Joseph Wolf and Hugo Heinzen, were brought from Puerto Cabezas to Managua by members of the State Security. That same day they received the order to leave Nicaragua, which they did the next day, going to the United States, their country of origin.
On January 16, three members of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua met with the Minister of the Interior, Comandante Tomas Borge, to discuss the matter.
The Minister explained the case, admitting that the matter had not been handled properly and stating that this type of thing would not happen again and that the priests and sisters who had been obliged to leave the country could return to Nicaragua.
The Bishops of Nicaragua, while accepting the explanation and the promise of the Minister of the Interior, seriously regret what has happened and affirm our ecclesiastical and human communion with the missionaries and with the People of God of the Atlantic Coast.
2- At the same time, we earnestly hope that these appropriate rectifications regarding the aforementioned priests and sisters will apply also to other priests and sisters of the Atlantic Coast and the Prelature of Juigalpa, to whom the authorization to remain in the country has been denied or delayed, with the recognition that they have been in the most difficult regions of Nicaragua at the service of the poor. We hope as well that the corresponding authorities will give due respect to the Pastoral Agents recognized and approved by the legitimate authority of the Church who work with great zeal in the evangelization and humanization of our people, especially the most poor and marginalized.
Given in the city of Managua, the 22nd day of January of 1982.